Organizations That Learn

Learning Wars

 

Learning Wars:
One Crusader's Story

Long ago in a galaxy far far away … Wait. Actually, it wasn’t so long ago and it was in another country rather than another galaxy. Anyway … a young(er), impressionable and enthusiastic Vice President for Information Technology worked for a global Anglo-Dutch information publishing organization. At the recommendation of someone he met on a plane he read an article by Chris Argyris and then a book about learning organizations by Peter Senge. In many ways that book changed his life.

Convinced that he could transform his scion of a three-hundred year old European publishing giant into a nimble and environmentally sensitive organization that learns, he asked the CEO for permission to attend an executive training program, "Building the Learning Organization." The CEO agreed – as long as our young learning crusader was willing to foot the bill. To a more sensitive, savvier or less enthusiastic employee this might have constituted a clue about the company’s support for the idea. But our hero was new to the corporate world (having recently arrived from the planet Academia) and undaunted. He cast caution to the winds and enrolled.

There follows our crusader’s report back to the executive committee on the experience and his preliminary plan for transforming his company, referred to herein as “BLP,” into a learning organization. In the next installment we’ll examine his success.

Episode 3 - The Learning Warrior Returns

Episode 5 - Another Crusade: The University High School

Postscript: The University High School described in the above proposal became the basis for Charlottesville's Renaissance School.

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